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Center for Teaching Excellence

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Pedagogy Workshops and Events

In our effort to help keep faculty at the forefront of the ever evolving understanding of how students learn and what types of best practices good teachers should engage in, the CTE offers workshops and events that give faculty the building blocks they need in order to engage their students and design good courses that foster student learning.

Click on the "+" sign next to each event to see description.


August 2019

This session will provide an overview of best practices for creating an online lecture with closed captioning to meet course accessibility needs. The presenters will first discuss online lecture recording options on campus, including the Office of Distributed Learning’s course production studios that are available to faculty and instructors. Next, they will present best practices to create an effective and engaging lecture video. Then, the presenters will direct participants to and demonstrate the resources available for creating closed captioning for lecture and other videos to ensure the content is accessible to all students. Finally, participants will have an opportunity to add closed captioning to a video for their course with the assistance of the presenters (participants must bring the video files or be able to access them at the workshop).  Register

With a few simple adjustments, your Microsoft Word and PowerPoint course materials can better fit the universal design concept. These best practices can help you and, most importantly, your students access, navigate, and understand your class content. Start here to lead towards habits of developing inclusive material for all of your students. Handouts and valuable links to additional resources will be provided. Bring your devices for a hands-on training experience! 

This workshop is an elective workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion. Register

In this session we will discuss the academic misconduct trends we are seeing online and in person with our students. Additionally, we will discuss how to identify and address these common violations while maintaining a productive instructor/student relationship.

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments (FPLE).  Register

Large classes often necessitate the need for using exams with multiple-choice questions (MCQs) to assess student learning and streamline the grading process. However, many problems exist with these types of questions, in particular the difficulty in assessing higher level learning or deeper understanding when giving students an answer choice. Further, it can be daunting for instructors to write “good” questions that actually assess the students on what is intended. How do instructors write good MCQs that ask students to do more than simply regurgitate facts and content? In this workshop we will explore the structure of MCQs along with their strengths and inherent weaknesses. Participants will learn how to create effective questions based on quality learning outcomes, with practice constructing both a good question (the stem) and appropriate (and fair) answer choices. We will also address common issues with multiple-choice exams and how instructors can use these exams as immediate feedback to evaluate their own instructional effectiveness.  Register

September 2019 2019

Many faculty and instructors in higher education have little training on effective pedagogies. Thus, the purpose of this workshop is to help participants learn about research-based teaching and instructional practices in higher education.  Register

Have you heard about the i>Clicker classroom response system being used and unsure whether it’s worthwhile to include in your course? Already planning to use i>Clicker but need guidance or recommendations? Join us learn how from two perspectives: USC’s i>Clicker representative on how to incorporate i>Clickers and i>Clicker REEF Polling enabled mobile devices into your classroom, and an instructor at USC who uses the Blackboard-compatible i>Clickers to improve her large face-to-face course and solve problems common to a large lecture setting.

Participants will be guided through the steps to set up the system, learn trouble-shooting techniques and recommendations, and participate in a demonstration of ways the tool can be used most effectively. Come discover how this educational technology can enhance your classroom methods and lead to better student learning!   Register

Do you often feel like you are the most passionate about the content you are teaching in your classroom? Does it feel like a lack of student engagement inhibits a true connection with the subject matter in your courses and student success? In this interactive workshop, the facilitator will share a variety of ways to engage students that simultaneously honor course objectives and students' individual interests. Both long and short-term instructional/management strategies will be explored, and participants will be asked to consider how they could adopt such methods into their courses. Participants should bring a syllabus from one of their courses to ponder how specific strategies could be adopted into their teaching.

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.   Register

Are you living groundhog’s day? This session explores new ways to look at a topic or lecture and incorporate quality activities to ensure student success and bring a new level of energy to your course. Large classroom? Unresponsive students? No worries! Ideas are broken down into technology, group work, and student-driven activities with opportunities to find ways to make it work no matter your teaching situation. Attendees will walk away with tangible tools to quickly implement in their next lecture.   Register

Is the idea of planning your online course daunting to you? Are you an experienced online instructor who wants some new techniques? Are you unfamiliar with online courses and want to get a sense of what all the fuss is about? In this workshop, you will be introduced to online teaching and prepare to implement and teach online courses. You will be guided through the 3 phases of online course design, Design, Development, and Delivery. You will learn about how online teaching differs from face-to-face and the major phases of online course design. By the end of the workshop, you will design online learning activities and student interactions, create a plan for online course delivery, and have the opportunity to sign up for a one-on-one follow-up with an instructional designer.  Register

Creating an environment of integrity within the classroom truly takes a village. Faculty, administrators, and students all play a role in maintaining an ethical campus community. This workshop will explore preventative classroom tools to promote academic integrity. 

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.   Register

Who are the new students on campus this fall? This workshop will provide demographic and profile information on the new incoming students to the Columbia campus.

This workshop is an elective workshop for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.    Register

Have you wondered how to transform students from passive listeners to active participants in learning? In this workshop, the facilitator will present recent research on the Active Learning theory. She will also share with the audience several practical strategies which she has been experimenting in teaching (e.g., using technology to create platforms for participation, building supportive learners’ community). Participants will then brainstorm in small groups strategies which can be incorporated in their teaching to promote student agency and enhance learning outcomes.  Register

he advertising industry is focused on getting the attention of consumers and delivering targeted messages. This session will introduce some of the tools used in advertising, and then will explore how these tools can be applied to teaching to help student engagement, learning, and analysis. In the process, parallels between pedagogy and marketing will be explored, with attention to practical, theoretical, and ethical considerations.  Register

October 2019

In this session we will discuss the academic misconduct trends we are seeing online and in person with our students. Additionally, we will discuss how to identify and address these common violations while maintaining a productive instructor/student relationship.

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.   Register

All USC faculty, instructors and graduate teaching assistants are invited to participate in the tenth annual Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching on Friday, October 18, 2019 at the Russel House University Union.  Join colleagues from across USC campuses for this free one-day symposium focused on sharing best practices in teaching.

The Oktoberbest schedule has a wide variety of workshops on topics ranging from active learning and online course development to critical thinking and integrative learning. The event will include:

  • Breakfast with our keynote speaker
  • Choice of Concurrent Sessions presented by your colleagues at USC
  • Closing reception featuring door prizes and traditional Oktoberfest fare

Oktoberbest is free to all who teach or support teaching at USC, but is not open to the general public.  Register

Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online teaching and learning environments. QM’s mission is to promote and improve the quality of online education and student learning nationally and internationally. The QM Rubric for Higher Education (HE) is a set of eight General Standards and 42 Specific Review Standards used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. Annotations explain the applications of the Standards and their inter-relationships. More than 1300 colleges and universities throughout the world subscribed to the QM program and used the HE Rubric to improve course design. The Center for Teaching Excellence has adopted the QM rubric as a guide to best practices.

Designing your online course with QM standards ensures that your course learning outcomes are measurable, that your module learning outcomes are measureable and relate to your course outcomes, and that your learning materials, activities, and assessments are aligned to your outcomes. The standards also ensure that learner to content, learner to learner, and learner to instructor interaction is included throughout your course.

The University of South Carolina maintains its reputation as a leader in online learning, in part, through continuous improvement. While designing a quality online course involves some of the same criteria as a face-to-face course, it also involves factors that are unique to the online environment. This session presents an overview of the QM rubric and shows how to use the rubric to support course design, providing examples and suggestions. Learn how you can design your own online course for quality and apply best practices to achieve an increase in student engagement, learning, and overall satisfaction.  Register

November 2019

Do you worry that your students do not seem to understand college level texts? Do you wish you knew how to get them to engage with the ideas presented in assigned readings? Are you frustrated that some students do not complete assigned readings? In this interactive workshop, strategies for getting students to engage with assigned readings will be presented. Participants will learn how to prepare students for reading challenging texts and provide them with strategies that they can use to read more effectively. The session will conclude with an informal question-and-answer session focused on specific reading issues that group members have encountered in their teaching.  Register

This session will provide an overview of the online test proctoring services provided by ProctorU. Participants will learn the advantages of using and how to use ProctorU.   Register

Are you interested in teaching online courses? In this workshop, participants will learn about the design, development, and delivery of online courses. As we walk through the 3Ds: Design, Development, and Delivery, participants will be introduced to best practices for online teaching in preparation for modifying a current face-to-face course for online delivery or creating a new online course.

Participants will also earn about technology and instructional design support available to all who teach at UofSC. Please bring a copy of your face-to-face syllabus and schedule along with a laptop for hands-on activities. If you are creating a new online course, please bring whatever you have for the course.  Register

With a few simple adjustments, your Microsoft Word and PowerPoint course materials can better fit the universal design concept. These best practices can help you and, most importantly, your students access, navigate, and understand your class content. Start here to lead towards habits of developing inclusive material for all of your students. Handouts and valuable links to additional resources will be provided. Bring your devices for a hands-on training experience!

This workshop is a required workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion.    Register

Engaging in conflict is challenging whether you are an experienced instructor or new to your role. A likely strategy is to ignore the behavior due to our own discomfort, concern over retaliation or fear that our intervention may cause more harm or disruption.

Through case study examples this workshop will explore Gerald Amada’s research from Coping with Misconduct in the College Classroom and provide participants with tangible strategies to disruptive behavior in a confident and fair manner.

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.   Register

Have you heard about the i>Clicker classroom response system being used and unsure whether it’s worthwhile to include in your course? Already planning to use i>Clicker but need guidance or recommendations? Join us learn how from two perspectives: USC’s i>Clicker representative on how to incorporate i>Clickers and i>Clicker REEF Polling enabled mobile devices into your classroom, and an instructor at USC who uses the Blackboard-compatible i>Clickers to improve her large face-to-face course and solve problems common to a large lecture setting.

Participants will be guided through the steps to set up the system, learn trouble-shooting techniques and recommendations, and participate in a demonstration of ways the tool can be used most effectively. Come discover how this educational technology can enhance your classroom methods and lead to better student learning!   Register

December 2019

Are you an instructor who never actually “learned” how to write or develop a quality course syllabus? Or do you feel your course is just not leading to the learning you expected in your students? How can these issues be resolved? For a quality course that engenders deep and meaningful learning, instructors need to write the syllabus from the perspective of what the student will achieve, and design realistic, meaningful outcomes and associated curriculum to do so.

In this workshop, we will outline the framework for developing a syllabus for a course of your choosing, using the conceptual framework of “Backward Design” (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005). We’ll discuss the importance of (and practice crafting) thoughtfully designed learning outcomes, and then work backward to develop appropriate assessments, meaningful class learning activities, and finally, determine the most effective method for teaching that activity. Other tips and advice for syllabus development, along with examples of good and bad syllabus construction, will be discussed with other participants in a small group setting.  Register


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